Most people don’t know that blood cancer is one of the biggest cancer killers. They don’t know the symptoms and are unaware of organisations that can help. The world simply doesn’t understand blood cancers.
This was a significant challenge for Bloodwise. Drawing on evidence from a large blood cancer research project, I led on the development of Bloodwise’s first UK-wide awareness campaign. The research demonstrated that increasing awareness of blood cancers with the general public and within healthcare settings was seen by many patients and health professionals as a critical step for improving the experiences of people diagnosed with blood cancer.
The key objective was to raise awareness of blood cancer, and then to support the new name and present Bloodwise as a voice of authority on blood cancer. Timing was key as there was an opportunity to launch the campaign during Blood Cancer Awareness month (September).
I worked with the creative team and the brilliant Undivided agency to develop the key messaging and potential creative routes. We developed seven concepts and used a series of internal workshops to refine them and ensure they worked in the channels we felt were most likely to be our focus. Four concepts were then taken forward for testing which took place digitally, through formal focus groups and through seeking anecdotal evidence.
The chosen creative focused on the 137 different types of blood cancer - creating the simple but powerful message of how many there are (acknowledging all patients experiencing blood cancer), underpinned by Bloodwise’s commitment to beat every single one. The creative felt informative, but also surprising: simple, direct and focused on the charity’s vision. It also offered a powerful link to the words leukaemia and lymphoma which was strategically important given the name change.
Inspired by the aesthetic of protest and social statement, we worked with street artists to create a mural of blood cancers - powerful, dramatic hand-painted lettering demanding attention.
We wanted to connect with a wide audience. With reach and impact in mind, we focused on outdoor as the main component of the media buy. This was complemented with a month-long social media campaign with daily awareness facts shared and weekly celebration of the Bloodwise community. Paid social media supported the campaign driving Facebook interactions, increasing Twitter followers, video views and website visits. Using a Thunderclap on launch day to maximise impact, the campaign had three calls to action: join (the community), share, email (your MP). Onboarding consisted of a series of four emails welcoming people joining as supporters, capturing data and helping them see more ways of getting involved. The campaign increased reach through the charity’s long-standing partnership with Wickes and materials were created for branches and regional supporters.
The campaign delivered not only one its core objectives but deepened the organisation’s connection to its purpose and its resolve to beat blood cancer. It smashed its reach targets and generated over 13 million social media impressions. Staff felt rightly proud of their work - and motivated to be even more creative in their work.